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What’s new in Horizon Europe?

The EC published the „Horizon Europe Implementation Strategy“ on 30th April, presenting a first draft of how & when to unroll the Horizon Europe programme. This article gives you an overview and summary about the most important changes for the academic researcher.

Photo from the control room of the radio telescope in the radio observatory Effelsberg. In the large room two employees are sitting in front of a row of screens. Through the large window front one can see the radio telescope.

Radio telescope control room at the Effelsberg Radio Observatory | Source: Audiovisual Service from the European Commission (https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/photo/P-038279~2F00-42)

Radio telescope control room at the Effelsberg Radio Observatory | Source: Audiovisual Service from the European Commission (https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/photo/P-038279~2F00-42)

Status of the document & future changes

The Strategy is still „a living text“ reflecting the situation on 1.1.2020 and will evolve during 2020, also due to the legal text being still in negotiation in its details. Below you will find a compact summary of the parts of the implementation strategy, which are relevant to academic researchers.

Main parts/areas of the implementation strategy

Like in the original implementation strategy, opens an external URL in a new window, this summary is divided into four areas with corresponding subtopics:

1. Maximising Impact

  • Proposal Evaluation
  • Dissemination
  • Evidence-based Policy

2. Access, transparency and simplification

  • Access to Funding
  • Financial Simplification
  • Transparent Evaluation

3. Fostering synergies

4. Digital transformation

  • Funding and Tenders Portal

Main Milestones & Measures in the 4 areas presented by the implementation strategy

The following sections show the main planned policies, targets and measures with the expected timing of their implementation.

1. Maximising Impact

The section Maximising Impact describes relevant changes, related to the evaluation of the proposals, such as the description of the expected outcomes and of the impact. Further, those outcomes and impacts are planned to be showcased in an own platform. It is also planned to create new services for the dissemination of results, as well as to set incentives to report outcomes after the end of the project. To foster evidence-based policy, a new framework is planned, including templates for external supplementary data, as well as the implementation of a data hub.

Proposal Evaluation

  • specified expected outcomes for the work programme topics
    (Q4 2020, depending on political process)
  • better wording of proposal evaluation criteria, especially ‘impact’ evaluation criteria
    (Q2 2020)
  • new evaluation modalities to maximise the impact of especially missions
    (Q2 2020, approach and criteria spelled out in work programme)

Dissemination

  • a Horizon Results Platform, to showcase outcomes and impacts
    (Q4 2019)
  • new services to help exploit results
    (from Q1 2020 to Q4 2024)
  • incentives to continue reporting on the progress of results, after the end of their projects
    (Q3, annual award)

Evidence-based Policy

  • framework for informing evidence-based policy (Q2 2020):
    • templates to enrich data with external data sources
      (from Q4 2019 to Q2 2021)
    • R&I data hub, for sharing data
      (Q3 2021)
    • guidelines for policy relevant results
      (Q2 2020)

2. Access, transparency and simplification

The section Access, transparency and simplification describes relevant changes regarding the access to funding, such as: multi-annual work programmes, a reduction in the length of proposal templates, simplifications in the Grant Agreement and additional documents, streamlined templates for reporting and a single set for rules in various EIT partnerships. Financial simplifications may originate from the lump sum pilots, but first they need to be assessed before being fully unrolled the lump sum framework. Transparent evaluation is furthered by setting up possibilities to react to evaluations, and piloting anonymous first stage proposal evaluations.

Access to Funding

  • multi-annual work programmes, with topics offering possibility of submission for more than one year
    (by Q4 2020, depending on political process)
  • proposal template with substantial reduction in maximum length
    (Q2 2020)
  • simplifications via corporate model GA, single formula personnel costs, tutorials, documents (e.g. e-AGA)
    (by Q4 2020, then continuous)
  • streamlined templates for financial and technical reporting
    (Q2 2021)
  • single set of rules for participation & funding in Partnerships (Art 185/7) EIT, with limited exceptions
    (Q4 2020)

Financial Simplification

  • lump sum pilots will be assessed after the developing for an assessment framework. With the intention to fully enroll them
    (no timeframes given)

Transparent Evaluation

  • a right to react (rebuttal) pilot
    (Q2/3 2021)
  • blind/anonymous first stage proposal evaluation pilots
    (Q2/3 2021 in early calls of HE, as per Art 25.3a)

3. Fostering synergies

The paragraph on Fostering synergies describes plans toallocate and provide information about alternative funding possibilites by funding bodies, as well as by offering guidance and services how to exploit results under other programmes.

Fostering synergies

  • information of national/regional funding bodies about possibilities of providing alternative funding
    • workshop on synergies
      (Q1 2020)
    • strengthen the ‘Community of Practices’ (not further explained)
      (Q2 2020)
  • guidance and services to exploit the use of Horizon Europe results under other programmes
    (Q1 2020 – Q4 2021)

4. Digital transformation

The listing on the subject Digital transformation summarises the measures implemented in the funding and tenders portal, in particular: mulitligual support at the registration, adding of corporate search functions, personal profiles and providing information about events and networks for coordinators. Furthermore also the integration of new functions is planned, such as text and data mining, human-led AI modules or fully automated documents.

Funding and Tenders Portal

  • multilingual support at registration
    (2020, to be ready for the launch of HE)
  • corporate search functions
    (Q2 2020)
  • personal profiles for F&T portal users who own a EU-Login account
    (Q3 2020)
  • (coordinator) events & NCP networks
    (Q2 2020)
  • new programmes & support,further specified in the original document: E.g. text and data mining (reducing reporting demands), human-led AI modules (e.g. self-service tool to test if a proposal idea is in scope of a call), fully automated corporate GA's & expert contracts
    (2020, not further specified when they will be implemented in the portal)

Further reading

Link to the entire strategy document:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/research_and_innovation/strategy_on_research_and_innovation/documents/ec_rtd_implementation-strategy_he.pdf, opens an external URL in a new window 

Related Articles:

Open Science information from the European Commission, opens an external URL in a new window

Image Source

Audiovisual Service from the European Commission: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/photo/P-038279~2F00-42 , opens an external URL in a new window

Contact

TU Wien
Center for Research Data Management
Resselgasse 4 (TU Wien Bibliothek), 1040 Wien
research.data@tuwien.ac.at

Twitter: @RDMTUWien